Bits: Flight deals from Istanbul, Marriott Travel Package news, Charles Tyrwhitt discount code

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News in brief:

Flight bargains from Istanbul

As you will have seen on the news, the Turkish currency has crashed in recent days as the political situation escalates.

It always takes the airlines a while to update their pricing.  If you have been thinking about any Business Class travel bookings, go over to a site like Expedia or Opodo and pop in your destination with a starting point of Istanbul.  You might find a good deal.

Do NOT pay in Turkish currency, however, because you have no idea what exchange will be used at the time the transaction is processed.  Look for a site which lets you book in another currency.  This might involve leaving Expedia or Opodo and moving to the site of the airline involved.

Marriott gives some guidance on the future of Travel Packages

We have given over a disproportionate amount of space in recent months to Marriott Travel Packages and how they will change following the Marriott Rewards / Starwood Preferred Guest merger next Saturday.

The reason we do this is that Marriott Travel Packages are by far the best way to spend Marriott or SPG points (if you are happy to spend seven nights in the same hotel) but they won’t be very good after next Saturday.  The current pricing is here and the new pricing from next week is here.

What we didn’t know is what would happen to existing packages after next Saturday.  This was very important if you were planning to order one before 18th August but not make your booking until later.

Marriott has now sent an email to most people with an unused Travel Package:

“If you are still trying to plan that perfect trip, you can hold onto the certificate and will be able to add it to a reservation starting on September 18, 2018 under the new Travel Packages program. For certificates purchased prior to 8/18, we are working to convert your package and it will be available based on the new converted values on September 18, 2018.”

The key word here is ‘convert’.  Based on comments from Marriott staffers, and a conversation I had myself with the head of Marriott Rewards a couple of weeks ago, we know that Marriott had a back-up plan for unused Travel Packages.  This involved refunding points for the room element and letting you keep the airline miles, which would mean that the miles would end up being ludicrously cheap.

The email above implies that Marriott does now think that they have found a way of converting certificates issued under the old categories to the new ones.

Nothing is guaranteed, but if you were thinking of taking a gamble on buying a Travel Package in the hope that Marriott would give you a chunky refund after you’d got the miles, it seems you will be disappointed.

It is also worth noting that no Travel Package bookings will be possible between 18th August and 18th September.  This means that you will miss the opportunity to get first pick at the ex-SPG hotels or those where pricing is coming down.

The special website explaining what will happen next Saturday when the two schemes merge is here.

Charles Tyrwhitt Avios

New Charles Tyrwhitt / Avios discount code

Shirtmaker Charles Tyrwhitt has launched a new discount which will also allow you to earn Avios.

Until 28th August, you will save £5 on a £50 spend, £10 on a £75 spend and £15 on a £100 spend.

It is valid both instore and on orders placed via the website here.

You MUST add code TCAW2 for the discount to be applied.

You earn 4 Avios per £1 spent both instore and online.  In a shop, tell the checkout assistant your number and they will ensure your points are added on.  With online orders you can add your number doing the payment process.  Full details of the Tyrwhitt Avios deal are here.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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  1. “Do NOT pay in Turkish currency, however, because you have no idea what exchange will be used at the time the transaction is processed”

    PAY in Turkish Lira – it is always the best deal. Use Revolut or similar zero-fee foreign conversion fee. The fare in TRY can be 10-20% less than the airline’s converted fare.

    Really, Rob, I thought you would have known better.

    • While generally this is the right advice, in this case I reckon Rob’s on the money – there’s no way of knowing what Lira will be worth in even 24 hours – a 2-4% FX load and a guaranteed price is (at least for most) better than the risk of a big shift when the transaction settles.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Curve will charge the rate right there and then. Yes you need to pay 1% for the privilege but it’s probably worth it

        • Revolut give the interbank rate sans fee before the transaction is even confirmed on the screen. A push notification to one’s device gives the price in Sterling and exchange rate charged milliseconds after clicking ‘buy’.

          No fee, no delay, how all cards should work.

    • the_real_a says:

      The best solution is to open a TRY wallet inside revolut. Exchange the money at the interbank rate in the app at the live spot rate. Then ubsequent use of the revelation card in TRY will use the wallet currency first.

  2. Ruth4325 says:

    Recent Amex offer for Connaught etc. I had a bill for £700 ish with Connaught and split it over both my Amex cards for double bonus. Now wondering if this line in the offer T&Cs forbid that
    “Payment is required in full on the American Express Card to which the offer is saved.” Anyone know how to interpret this?

  3. Eleanor says:

    For the Charles Tyrwhitt promotion has anybody had any success with avios being credited to their account? I have made various purchases in store, given my BA exec no. and received no added avios on my BA exec statement?

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